Updated at 10:55 p.m. EDT, July 13, 2009
Iraq increased security after a spate of attacks against Christians and ahead of a major Shi’ite religious observance. At least three Iraqis were killed and 28 more were wounded in the latest violence. No Coalition deaths were reported, but seven U.S. soldiers were injured in Sharqat.
Seven U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi translator were wounded during a blast in Sharqat. Meanwhile, Police in Mosul claimed that U.S. troops twice violated a security pact by entering two police stations there. Also, Adm. Mike Mullen made an unannounced trip to Kirkuk.
A public inquiry that opened in the United Kingdom is revealing serious mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by British Troops. The focus of the investigation is on Baha Mousa, who was beaten and killed after troops arrested the 26-year-old at his Basra hotel. Six soldiers were cleared of wrongdoing at a 2007 court martial, but a seventh plead guilty. A legal case has already been resolved, with financial compensation going to families of abuse victims, including Mousa. Of particular alarm is the possible use of banned tactics.
A spate of anti-Christian attacks in the Mosul and Baghdad areas and an upcoming religious observance in Baghdad forced Iraqi authorities to increase security. A vehicle ban was imposed early in the day on the Ninewa province towns of Hamdaniya and Buesheqa, Talteef, and Karmaleeson was lifted during the afternoon. The four towns have large Christians populations. Last year, a similar surge in Mosul forced many Christian families to seek refuge in these towns and farther ones as well. Baghdadi Christians, however, remain defiant despite yesterday’s attacks there. Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi asked Christians not to entirely abandon Iraq.
Meanwhile, Baghdad Operations Command announced the use of the Iraqi Air Force and policewomen to keep Shi’ite pilgrims safe during the July 18th observances of the death of Musa al-Kadhim, who is buried at a mosque in northern Baghdad. The al-Kadhimiya Mosque has been a regular target of bombings, with a major attack occurring as recently as April of this year. The policewomen will be on hand to search female pilgrims who might hide explosives under their flowing garments.
In Mosul, an I.E.D. killed an Iraqi soldier. Three children were wounded during a blast near a mosque in Faisaliya. A roadside bomb in Bab al-Toub wounded four people. A bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in the Younis district wounded two Iraqis. U.S. soldiers fired upon a bus in central Mosul; the driver and a female passenger were wounded. Also, U.S. soldiers defused a bomb.
A Kurdish man was stabbed to death in Kirkuk.
Three Iraqis were injured when a pair of roadside bombs blasted their wedding convoy as it traveled through Baquba.
A man was wounded in Hamrim as he was planting a roadside bomb.
Two kidnappers were arrested, and their hostage, a taxi driver, was freed in Muqdadiya.
Two people were kidnapped in Rashad.
A suicide belt was discovered and defused in Mahmoudiya.
The U.S. base at Basra International Airport suffered a rocket attack.